If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Asthma and Lung Capacity Issues in Women Often Preceded by Very Early Menstruation

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) The  wonderful children's book  teaching cause and effect,  If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, just giving a mouse a cookie sets off a fun chain of events: "If you give a mouse a cookie, he's going to ask for a glass of milk. When you give him the milk, he'll probably ask you for a straw. ....."

Another chain of events seems to take place when a female baby is in a compromised  uterus.  Two things, not necessarily in this order, take place: Asthma and early onset of her menstrual cycle.

"Metabolism and hormones appear to have an impact on the respiratory system"

The chain of events goes like this. If you give a female a bad uterus to cook in, then she'll be born with a low birth weight. If she is born with a low birth weight, then she'll probably start her period before she is 10. If she starts her period before she is 10, she is likely to get fat. If she gets fat, she'll probably start smokiing. If she starts smoking, she'll probably get asthma. And, just like the cause effect children's book where giving a mouse a cookie set off a whole chain of events, the substandard inuterine environment before a girl is even born effects her whole life.
Now, back to the story, uh, study I mean.
Ferenc Macsali, lead author of the study and his team studied on 3,354 women aged between 27 and 55, is part of a multi-centre study called the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) found women with asthma or substandard lung function as adults generally started their periods before or at the age of 10. These women were more likely to be from large families in southern europe.
Ferenc Macsali concludes, "The link between lower lung function, asthma and early menarche goes back to birth", the expert explains. Other studies have shown that many women who experienced early menstruation had a low birth weight. "This unfavourable intrauterine environment is possibly related to poor foetal lung development, which will affect this person over their whole life", he adds.
Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
April 7, 2011
Last Updated:
April 7, 2011